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plants with Bordeaux mixture, otherwise the disease threatens to become a serious enemy to tobacco culture.
The tobacco plant, from the period of its germination until it is cured, is preyed upon by a variety of insects, and the utmost diligence and watchfulness are required by the grower to guard against their depredations. The first of these to make their appearance are the so-called "Snow fleas," which are peculiar to the eeedleaf districts of the North, and are rarely seen south of the Ohio and Potomac rivers. The snow flea has a large head and a small abdomen, without any segmental divisions. It is known to entomologists as Smynthurus horlensis or "Springtails." The antennae are threefourths as long as the body. It is called springtail because of a forked member, which lies folded up against the underside of the abdomen near its end, which gives the insect its great leaping power. Its power of rapid locomotion resides in this spring tail. These insects can stand very cold weather and are the first to feed upon the tobacco plant, beginning when the two first tiny leaves appear above the surface of the ground. Applications of the flour of sulphur are said to have the effect of driving them away. They are rarely ever seen upon beds that have been well burned.
The Flea Beetle is far more destructive to the young tobacco plant, and its ravages extend through every part of the United States where tobacco is grown. It belongs to the genus Epitrix, family Hallicidm. Two species are described that attack tobacco, —Epiirix cucumeris, and Epitrix pubescens. The first is black, with the exception of the feet and antennae. The second is more oblong in form, but is otherwise about the same in size and of a dull black color. The feet and antennaj arc of a honey-yellow color, as well as the upper part of the body, except a portion of the wing covers, which are black. The upper and lower parts of the whole body, with the exception of the thorax, are covered with a slight down, from whence it takes its specific name of pubescens. These insects are from onesixteenth to one-tenth of an inch in length. This latter species is especially fond of the young tobacco plant, though it will feed upon young cotton, cabbage and potato plants, and the tender leaves of all leguminous plants. When disturbed, the flea beetle will leap from
TOBACCO WORM OF THE South (Phlegethontius Carolina), reduced one-fourth. It differs from P. celeus mainly in not having so long a tongue, while its "jug handle " is not so long or so arched as in P. celeus.
the plant and hide itself among the clods and in the dry dirt. Frequently the plants will be seen covered with them and the depredations are made rapidly, a whole seed bed being often destroyed within a few days.
The only certain protection to the young plants against this destructive insect is to cover the bed closeh with canvas as soon as the seed is sown, and close up all openings between the canvas and the ground. Plants in beds are also sprinkled with powdered lime moistened with turpentine, or soot, wood ashes or fine road dust may be used instead of lime. A decoction of tobacco Stems, heated to 125° F., will kill all the fleas it touches, without injuring the plants. Until the practice of using canvas coverings was adopted, this beetle was more dreaded even than the horn worm. The flea beetle at the North is frequently as destructive to halfgrown tobacco as to the potato plant, the little holes it eats into the leaves ruining their quality, if not killing them outright. The potato crop is protected against this pest by spraying with Bordeaux mixture,* and in bad attacks the same remedy may be sprayed upon tobacco.
Cutworms (Fig. 60) are occasionally troublesome to seed beds when they are made near old land infested with them. Canvas covering is no protection against them under such conditions. Prevention in this case, by preparing the beds on new land some distance from the old, is the best remedy. But cutworms are sometimes very destructive to the plants after they are set out in the fields. They sever the stalks of the plants beneath the surface. Their work is performed at night, or in the cool of the morning, before the sun begins to shine upon the ground, or late in the evening, after the sun has set. They take refuge beneath the surface of the ground when the sun is shining, where they may be easily found lying in a coil. When grown, they are from one and one-quarter to one and one-half inches long, plump and greasy looking. The common, white grub is familiar to all, and the traveling cutworm, Fig. 61, may be even more destructive.
"Bordeaux mixture la made by combining six pounds of copper sulphate and four pounds of quicklime, with water to make fifty gallons. The copper sulphate is dissolved in water (hot, If prompt action Is desired) and diluted to about twenty-five gallons. The fresh lime is slaked in water, diluted to twenty-five gallons, and strained into the copper solution, after which the whole is thoroughly stirred with a paddle. Both the copper and the lime mixtures may be kept In strong solution as stock mixtures, but when combined should be promptly used, as the Bordeaux mixture deteriorates on standing.
Burning the trash from the fields before plowing, and breaking the land in the fall of the year, are both very destructive to the cutworms. Clean culture, leaving nothing to harbor worms during the winter, is important. When the/ are found in the soil, however, there is no better remedy than to hunt them out about each hill of plants, and destroy them. Cutworms disappear upon the advent of hot weather. Enclosing plants with stiff collars of brown paper, stuck well into the earth, is effective, but involves much labor. Cutworms may be caught by putting on each hill, or every few hills, at night, a bit of clover, cabbage or other tender green stuff the worms relish, first covering the same with a mixture of Paris green, one part to float twenty parts, or dipped in a pail of water containing a tablespoonful of the poison; the poison sickens the worms so they won't eat, or kills them outright. Birds, chickens, turkeys and pigs are very fond of cutworms, and may, under some circumstances, be utilized for their destruction. The common bluebird is known to have a special fondness for them, and will do valuable service in field and garden if left unmolested. Examination of the contents of the stomachs of the bluebird shot in Tennessee during February, showed that 30 per cent of the food consisted of cutworms. During March, also, its food has been found to contain a large percentage of these insects.
Like the chinch bug, cutworms are subject to diseases, which appear to be caused by attacks of bacteria and other parasitic enemies. The Kentucky experiment station reports that those affected with the trouble would often go into the ground as if to change to pupae, but instead died, becoming flaccid and discolored, and when recently dead were filled with a clear, yellowish fluid, in which were large numbers of bacilli, some of them in active motion. It is hoped that practical